Maybe it was a slow night offensively or the prospects of playing two giants from Tampa, Fla., but the Warren County High School freshmen boys team needed a half to wake up before cruising to victory against Central Magnet School.
In the 3-pt Club freshman tournament, Warren County turned a two-point halftime lead into a 45-24 pummeling of Central Magnet on Friday night to advance to the championship game.
The Pioneers got off to a hot start by going on a 14-2 run to begin the game. Brock Majors and Bryson Lewis bombed away from outside with a 3-pointer each while Morales banged in the paint for eight points.
The scoring for Warren County slowed in the second quarter and Central Magnet snuck back into the game. A basket from Malik Ladet and two free throws Zech Clark were the team’s only offense in the second quarter as the Pioneers took a 18-16 lead into halftime.
A stingy defense helped Warren County pull away in the third quarter. The Pioneers didn’t allow a point in the third while scoring 11 of their own to open a double-digit lead. Ladet scored four points in the period on a pair of baskets.
Lewis and Ethan Fliss helped nailed down the win in the fourth quarter. Lewis scored seven points by slashing to the hoop for three baskets and knocking one free throw.
Fliss came off the bench to chip in five fourth-quarter points, including drilling a 3-pointer which ended any comeback hopes for Central Magnet.
Lewis finished with a team-high 12 points while Morales added 11. Ladet was the third-leading scorer with six.
The win advanced the Pioneers to the finals of the 3-pt Club freshman tournament.
Awaiting Warren County in the finals Saturday was IMG, a private academy team which featured a 7-foot-2 player from China and 6-foot-10 Aleer Leek from Nigeria. IMG made it to the finals by defeating Oakland by six in a game which featured Leek nearly bringing the basket down on a thunderous dunk in the second quarter.
Results from Saturday’s final weren’t available at press time. Check in Wednesday’s Southern Standard for more details.
Lady Pioneers beat Oakland
While the boys tournament took center stage Friday night, the Warren County High School freshman girls team quietly picked up a big 45-28 win over the Oakland Lady Patriots.
Brittany Myers was the star for the Lady Pioneers as she knocked down four 3-pointers on her way to a 16-point performance.
Samantha Howard was spectacular in the post for Warren County as she was able to score 10 points and pull down eight rebounds.
Hannah Turner chipped in eight points as the girls picked up their first win of the season.